Thursday, June 21, 2012

prayer of thanksgiving based on Pslam 138

In my devotions this week I read Psalm 138 and found myself drawn to some of its wonderful imagery.

The fact that we can depend on God to keep God's promises because of the honour of his name... the guarantee that God will do what God says God will do (clumsy but inclusive language there)  is God's own character.

I was also captivated by the line though I am surrounded by troubles, you will protect me... you reach out your hand to me'. It seemed to resonate with what I know is happening in the lives of people in the congregation here. Yet the Psalm says that even those troubles cannot stop God from working out his plans for our lives.

The prayer comes across a little like a lament but maybe we need to rediscover that in our devotional life and our liturgy.

I have to say that it has stretched my rather limited ability to capture what I was feeling in a prayer... The last line comes from Eugene Peterson's Message translation.

There is trouble in our Lives, O Lord

It’s not all plain sailing  

Yet in the midst of the angry turmoil we say thank you

From the depths of our heart we give you praise

In the ups and downs of our existence

We come to acknowledge your unfailing love and faithfulness

Because that is at the core of who you are

We know you keep your promises to us

We can depend on that

we can depend on you

When we call out to you,

 even in the depth,

 You hear us

As soon as we pray,

you answer

It’s not that it all gets solved and made better

It’s not some quick fix, get out of jail free card

Rather even though we cannot feel you all the time

We know You are with us

You encourage us

You give us the strength we need

Even though you are so great

You care for the humble

Even though you are all powerful

You are with the powerless

In fact you don’t hold with the haughty and proud

Rather You reach out your hand to us

You save us

Even more importantly have redeemed us

In Jesus you entered our world

A man of sorrow, Acquainted  with grief

You experienced the worst humanity had to offer

And in return gave grace and love

And in dying on the cross

You took our sin

You broke its power to corrupt

Your broke its power of death

There is new life and joy

You work out your plans for our life

Plans for good not for harm

Plans that not even the worst of life can thwart

This gives us hope

Your faithful love endures forever

Finish what you have started in us

Don’t quit on us now

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